I WOULD like to dedicate this piece to countless police officers and men who have shown to the entire country that they are really out there to ‘serve and protect,’ display honesty and good deeds and serve as a model to their neighbors.
Their stories have largely been unreported by the mainstream media but I would like to say that still, majority of the police force are still dedicated public servants who continue to keep the streets safe while the rest of us sleep soundly in the confines of our homes.
These are the policemen who continue to ignite the spirit of the force despite the never-ending stories about rogues in uniform and the undisciplined ones including some from the NCRPO who have been caught either literally sleeping or drinking while on duty.
Sad to say, NCRPO chief, director Odie Albayalde has been getting flak from his men for his unannounced visit in police stations and PCPs but I would say that the entire public are fully appreciating his actions. It’ really time for our policemen to change their old ways now that President Duterte has doubled their pay, the 1st leader to make true his promise just over a year in the Palace.
Back to my main issue, I would like to pay tribute to the five winners of the search for PNP Model Families who were honored by the Philippine National Police leadership during a simple awarding ceremony at the PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame last Monday.
The winners are the families of Inspector Danielo Jacosalem and his wife Senior Inspector Rowena Jacosalem of the Compostela Valley Municipal Police Station; the family of Senior Police Officer 4 Dennis Juan of the Ilocos Norte police force; the family of Senior Inspector Marvin Cajegas from Iligan City; the family of SPO3 Edgardo Figuracion II from Zamboanga del Sur and the family of Inspector Annie Decano from Central Luzon.
The five policemen’s families have gained fame not only for showcasing generosity and providing invaluable service to their fellows specifically the less fortunate ones , thus highlighting the image of the police as an organization which puts premium on having a strong family and being good neighbor to all.
I would also like to congratulate the 753 police commissioned and non-commissioned officers who really showed they can ‘always be outnumbered but will never be outfought,’ thus earning them promotion to the next higher rank as ordered by PNP chief, General Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa.
Of the total, 745 were members of the Joint Task Group-PNP (437 of them are from the elite PNP Special Action Force while 164 others are from the Police Regional Office 10 in Northern Mindanao) which was commended by President Duterte for their invaluable and exemplary involvement in the liberation of Marawi City from the hands of ISIS-inspired Maute and Abu Sayyaf terror groups from May to October last year.
Eight others are members of the Binuangan Municipal Police Station in Misamis Oriental who displayed ‘conspicuous courage and gallantry in action and outstanding accomplishment involving risk of life, above and beyond the call of duty’ when they successfully defended their station from around 200 heavily-armed New People’s Army guerrillas last December 3.
On the other hand, the members of the Binuangan Municipal Police Station in Misamis Oriental led by Senior Inspector Dante Hallazgo showed real bravery in action when they repelled an estimated 200 heavily-armed NPA guerrillas who tried to storm their facility. Yes, they were ‘really outnumbered but never outfought.’
Add to the list the officers and men of the PNP Headquarters Support Service in Camp Crame and other policemen and individuals who, unknown to the public, have been silently displaying acts of honesty.
Since last year, the PNP-HSS headed by my basketball teammate, Chief Supt. Sonny Phillips, has installed ‘Honesty Boxes’ in strategic parts of the camp where lost and found items can be returned and claimed by their rightful owners. A big amount of cash and other valuables including firearms, mobile phones, bags and uniforms have been returned to their owners as a result of the HSS program.
Last but not the least, my family and I are offering our deepest sympathies to the family of Senior Inspector Jimmy Senosin, the brave deputy chief of the Taytay Municipal Police Station who was killed while going after armed drug dealers in the area.
Senosin on Sunday evening became the 1st police officer to be killed since the PNP launched a reinvigorated war on drugs last month. PNP spokesman, Chief Superintendent John Bulalacao told me that Gen. dela Rosa has assured the slain officer’s family that there will be no stones left unturned until his killers are identified, arrested and charged in court.
The 41-year old Senosin will also be given a hero’s burial. His death has prompted Gen. dela Rosa anew to remind his men to be on full alert against the possibility they will be encountering armed drug suspects as they continue their massive crackdown against illegal drug trafficking and abuse.
I just hope that the cop’s killers would be buried before Senosin is finally laid to rest. Criminals, especially those who kill officers conducting legitimate anti-crime operations have no place in this country. I hope that they will end up dead in shootouts in the coming days.